Despite exaggerated claims to the contrary by some environmental groups, Hurricane Dorian did little to no harm to the North Carolina pork industry last week.
“We actually went up in a plane the day after the hurricane to see what had taken place, and there was essentially no impact,” said David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C., and president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). Herring made the remarks during an NPPC media briefing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
“We documented it well with photographs and videos, because of animal activist groups that publish and create false accusations,” Herring added. “Luckily, we got ahead of them. A lot of our newspapers published the truth this time. They weren’t misled.”
Surveys by the North Carolina Pork Council (NCPC) following the storm noted only some scattered farm-level power outages across the state's 2,000 pork farms, as a result of wind. There also were no reports of a breach, structural damage, overtopping, or inundations involving the roughly 3,300 anaerobic treatment lagoons in use on farms in the state.
A statement from the NCPC said that more than 300 treatment lagoons have been closed in the past two decades, and farmers were prepared and ready for the storm’s impact to the state.
“It’s a testimonial to the farm families and companies there that produce pork and to their ingenuity that they were able to prevent damage from the hurricane,” Herring said.